Healing Storytelling, The art of imagination and storymaking for personal growth by Nancy Mellon
* This post is about the summary of the book, Healing Storytelling by Nancy Mellon. (Chapter 1-3) for reviewing. Breathing New Life
The silent period before the story is a very sacred time. It links you and your listeners with the creative power of the universe.
It is a moment to call out wisdom and let it stream naturally from the earth. And the heavens toward you.
Your story is a gestating ‘child’ of the universe.
Some stories do abort, but they may return stranger at a later time with all their life-forces intact and in good order.
Simple musical patterns help to bring about a sense of vibrant expectation. As you tune the air, you also clear the space within which the story is beginning to resonate. The more alive and fresh the atmosphere you create within and around you, the more vital your story images and word-music will be.
Organize a place in your home, whether it be one shelf or a whole room, what you can devote to your collection of storytelling activities, books and musical instruments.
Your story will gather momentum as you acknowledge that you are part of the whole flow of the earth’s evolution and that your story characters are guided and cared for just as you, in the mysteries of your destiny, are guided and cared for by a wisdom greater than your own.
Storytelling is an exhilarating adventure.
As a storyteller, you may exercise vast freedom in the realm of names. Like parents who find names for the children who come their way, sometimes adding to their formal names special endearments, storytellers can reach out into the whole universe of sounds to find names for characters and for the places that they inhabit.
The process of building up names that are sensitive to the characteristics of a particular person and place is a natural one.
Stored within you and everyone is a capacity for speaking the truths of wind, rock, flower, and cloud-of all earth’s creatures and for articulating the truth of human beings of every sort. To do this, we need only to open and develop our listening capacity.
Stories like these remind us that intimate meaning inheres in every living thing and that the whole word speaks, if only we can listen and comprehend.
Depths of imagination open depths of sound and of language.
Make up a little song, with a very simple melody, about someone or something you love. Whatever you may ‘think’ or yourself, sing it at least seven times until it becomes a little chant.
You have the power to bring to birth a story that refreshes time, space, and your sense of life and of who you are. As a storyteller, you are a co-creator with the thriving life of the universe.
Speaking with loving imagination from our core brings with it a sense of release.
The great majority of wise, old tales end happily.
Hope is food and fuel
As you tell stories, life-powers which may be hidden away within you can recover beat and rhythm. The melodies of many moods can reverberate through your story imagery.
Classical fairy tales, like classical symphonies, mark time majestically.
The formulate your story-music will be charged with warmth and flowing rhythms. These will propel the story forward naturally.
Whatever your favorite instrument, tell a well-known fairy tale entirely through spontaneous musical composition. Afterwards you may wish to write the music down.
Music unlocks images and the power of speech.
To become more aware of your power to regulate the speed and rhythm of your words as a storyteller, tell the same story in a variety of tempos.
Try singing an entire story to yourself, like an uninhibited.
Aa you are creating a story, a sudden or persistent urge to dig down may surprise you. Or, you may feel like falling dow, like Alice did, through an already existing tunnel into ‘wonderland’.If you follow this descent, you will come to deeper levels of earth life and yourself.
Courage to descend into story terrain may lead in many directions at once.
Through storytelling, you can safely experience the delights of going upward with wise guidance and the possible dire consequences of ascending carelessly into unfamiliar spaces.
An American mother of Scandinavian ancestry wrote a powerful story during one of the workshops.
The story took me to a level that had provided encouragement, as if the spiritual side of me was given a boost of confidence.
The clock of life has a round face, through which the days, weeks, months and years continuously turn. You can immerse your story world gently into encircling realities and build your story patterns firmly out of their complex yet comforting geometry.
Fill the story with circles and curves. Include his feeling for the sun as it moves through a whole day, and the moon and stars as they curve through the night sky.
Going Forth and Returning
As a storyteller, you can be aware that each little pulse of your heart is part of the vast trajectory of your whole life span.
Create a story about someone or something that travels from a beloved home and coming full circle, finds it unchanged.
Mountains may also represent mere obstacles to pass over, another solidity and awkwardness to get beyond as your story figures progress on the pathway to a further goal.
Exploring their own relationship to storytelling, decided to create their son’s or daughters’ whole birthday celebration as a mountain adventure.
The story forest is a testing place of self-recognition.
Bogs, Swamps, and Morasses
Spontaneous storytelling, like dreaming, can help you to see and to resolve awkward impasses in amazing and inspiring ways.
Experience your body as a tower. Draw, paint or make an image of your body in clay like a tower made of dark stone or other materials. Create a story about someone locked in a dark tower who needs to be set free.
Doors and Gateways
Imagine a gate in Detail. You may wish to draw it. Describe the keeper of this gate, and tell a story about the gatekeeper.
In stories, as in life, you may carry a key for a long time before you find its right use. He or she will have to overcome obstacles on the way; helpers will have to come forward to solve riddles and show the way. In the course of your story, you can discover where, and why, the key had been hidden or lost.
Castle and Palace
An imaginary palace awakens a sense of life’s expansive grandeur. Image someone who lives there.
Paths, Mazes, and Uncharted ways
A feeling of being lost without direction or adequate guidance is common to all human beings, especially as we cross into new territories of any kind.
The high Seas
In stories, a sailing vessel may be transformed into a fish, like the one that swallowed Jonah in a storm and delivered him exactly where he needed to go with more speed and precision than he experienced in the boat in which he originally began his journey.
Myungja Anna Koh